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Bayonetta 3: Everything You Need To Know Before Playing – Screen Rant

Key plot points and details from the first and second Bayonetta that players should know with the reaffirmed launch of Bayonetta 3 at Nintendo Direct.
Seven years after the release of Bayonetta 2, fans have received a concrete reaffirmation on the third installment of the franchise at the 2021 Nintendo Direct conference. A trailer was dropped featuring the titular witch sporting a new outfit and hairstyle, a new voice actor, unfamiliar enemies, and elements that are already raising questions. Bayonetta 3 is set to release sometime in 2022 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, similar to how Bayonetta 2 was exclusive to the WiiU.
The first Bayonetta game was a hack-and-slash released in 2009 under the developer Platinum Games and is available now on most platforms, with the second Bayonetta released in 2014 for the Nintendo Switch and WiiU. Both follow the coquettish and charming Umbra witch Bayonetta as she tackles otherworldly angels and demons with her arcane powers and her quadruple guns attached to her hands and feet. The gameplay of both existing games focuses heavily on melee combat with a variety of weapons available at players’ disposal. Both are in third-person perspective that utilizes combos, special attacks, and patterned move-sets that can improve attack power.
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Both Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2’s releases were received well by audiences, enough so that she was added as a character to Super Smash Bros. in 2016 with two costumes based on her default designs in both games. Aside from special editions, bundles, and the 8-Bit Bayonetta web-browser game, there are no other installments in the franchise. There was an anime movie called Bayonetta: Bloody Fate released in 2009 by Gonzo K.K. with Hellena Taylor and Grey Griffin reprising their respective roles as Bayonetta and Jeanne.
The first Bayonetta game begins in a graveyard, introducing the bumbling information broker Enzo, and the titular protagonist dressed as a nun whilst reading over a grave as a ruse to attract the angels of Paradiso. Players learn that Bayonetta can summon demon kaiju from Inferno to aid her through a tutorial in which they are also introduced to Rodin, a demon who owns the Gates of Hell shop where players can purchase new items and weapons. This is where Rodin gifts her a set of large-caliber handguns named The Scarborough Fair or, alternately, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. These guns are both handheld and attached to her red-bottomed stilettos, allowing her to perform acrobatic and versatile attacks.
Through gameplay, Bayonetta quickly introduces that the witch is an amnesiac who has been living in this world for some twenty-odd years after being found imprisoned and sleeping in a coffin at the bottom of a lake by the journalist Antonio Redgrave and his son Luka. Now an adult, Luka has taken up his father’s mantle, investigating his theory on the world of angels and demons, and bears a firm grudge against Bayonetta, as he believes she killed his father on that fateful day he found her in the lake.
Controls for Bayonetta on both PlayStation and Nintendo Switch are fairly similar, so players won’t have trouble hopping between platforms for the intermittent fights against the angels that all Umbra witches, like Bayonetta, must fulfill to keep their pact with the various demons they have made a contract with. During their time at the academy, all witches are expected to negotiate their souls to a demon to secure their arcane powers, though Bayonetta seems to exhibit extraordinary levels of power, even by a witch’s term. This could partially be attributed to what is known as The Eyes of the World, and the fact that Bayonetta possesses the Left Eye and carries it around in her watch.
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The concept of The Eyes of the World is a complex one that takes most of the game and then some to explain. Boiled down, Bayonetta lore explains there was an absence of cohesion in the universe and a great struggle that caused the Trinity of Realities to split into light, darkness, and chaos. Paradiso, which is the closest to the human concept of heaven, was born of the light, the Inferno, which most closely resembles the mortal idea of Hell, was created from darkness, and the human world was, naturally, born from chaos. The overseer of the human realm was the god of chaos known as Aesir, the original possessor of both the Left Eye of Darkness and Right Eye of Light. To give the humans free will, Aesir gave the Eyes to two human groups, the Umbra Witches and the Lumen Sages, which were both powerful arcane clans.
The Witches guarded the Left Eye whilst the Sages guarded the Right, giving both, in turn, some connection with Inferno and Paradiso. Unbeknownst to the players and characters, Bayonetta has been in possession of the Left Eye of Darkness since she awoke from her slumber, and as such has been attracting angels, and then a stranger clad in a red jumpsuit with strikingly similar powers to Bayonetta attacks her. This stranger reveals herself to be Jeanne, a fellow Umbra witch who was the one to put Bayonetta into the coffin five hundred years ago after a ritualistic battle between the two at the academy went haywire.
Bayonetta then travels to the European city of Vigrid, where the Lumen Sages and Umbra Witches at one point both held their spiritual and physical headquarters, in an attempt to recover her memory. There, players battle it out with more angels, and Jeanne, whilst recovering little bits about the witch’s past. Luka reveals to Bayonetta that both the Sages and Witches are all but extinct at this point due to the Clan Wars and Witch Hunts nearly five hundred years ago that all but wiped out both groups. While in Vigrid, Bayonetta encounters a young girl named Cereza, who repeatedly keeps referring to her as her mother. While uncomfortable with the concept of taking care of a small child during her mission, Bayonetta begrudgingly lets the little one tag along, growing periodically more attached to her. She informally recruits Luka to help take care of the girl, while he believes that he could be saving this child from the Umbra witch’s nefarious ways.
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In her final battle with Jeanne, the silence on Bayonetta’s past is broken, as she learns how she was intricately connected with the downfall of the clans and was a forbidden child born between a Sage named Balder and a Witch name Rosa. This caused her to be the proverbial black sheep of the witches, with the clan elders casting her out. Jeanne also reveals that at one point the two of them were close friends, with Jeanne having sealed Bayonetta away in her coffin for her safety so that enemy forces did not get their hands on the Left Eye of Darkness. Before she can explain much further, Jeanne narrowly saves Bayonetta from an incoming missile strike, referring to her by her real name: Cereza.
Upon scaling the Ithavoll Tower, Bayonetta comes to face her father Balder the Lumen Sage, who has been orchestrating this entire journey to get her to him. He reveals the little girl is Bayonetta brought forward in time to show Cereza who she truly was, and that Bayonetta herself is the Left Eye, while Balder is the Right Eye. With the two Eyes united Jubileus the Creator, a monstrous and destructive angel, can be resurrected to reunite the trinity of realities. While Balder is successful in resurrecting Jubileus, with the combined help of the summoned demon Queen Sheba and Jeanne who has now broken free of Balder’s mind control, Bayonetta is able to defeat Jubileus and Balder to preserve the Trinity of Realities for the time being.
The Bayonetta sequel begins almost directly after the events of the first game and is set during the Holiday season in New York City. Bayonetta and her now-roommate Jeanne are attacked by a barrage of angels while doing some Christmas shopping, showcasing the two’s side-by-side fighting prowess. However, when Bayonetta summons her demon Gomorrah, the creature breaks free from her control and lashes out to attack. Jeanne steps in at the last moment, taking the hit for Bayonetta and being dragged to Inferno. This sets up the premise for the second game, with Bayonetta traveling to Hell to rescue Jeanne’s soul whilst her body sits on ice with Rodin in The Gates of Hell.
Along the way to the mountain Fimbulventr where a secret entrance to Inferno supposedly is, Bayonetta meets a young and incredibly powerful magician named Loki who is also trying to get to the mystic mountain. Much like Bayonetta in the original game, Loki is an amnesiac who suffers intense headaches accompanied by visions of chaos and destruction from his previous life. The two make a pact that Loki will guide Bayonetta to Fimbulventr if she protects him from the angel assailants and a masked Lumen Sage, who is also on their trail. Luka once again makes an appearance, using his journalistic skills to help Bayonetta and Loki along the way, regaling the tale of Aesir the God of chaos, and how his personality was split into two parts: The good and the evil.
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Upon reaching the gates to Inferno, Bayonetta and Loki’s plans are turned on their heads as they face off against the masked Lumen and a mysterious figure named Loptr, who seems to know Loki’s true identity. Utilizing the Remembrance of Time, Loptr shows Bayonetta a vision from five hundred years ago the night her mother died, revealing that it was not Balder who caused her death, but instead a figure who looks suspiciously similar to Loki. Returning to the present battle, Loki opens a gate to Hell for Bayonetta, sending her through right as the Lumen is about to strike him down. Bayonetta awakes to find herself in the Inferno, where she battles through adversarial demons to rescue Jeanne’s soul and send it back to her body.
After successfully saving Jeanne the masked Lumen returns to attack Bayonetta and Loki, and is subsequently revealed as a younger Balder blipped forward in time to avenge the death of Rosa, which he believes was at the hands of Loki. Propelled by fear and unable to control himself, Loki lets out a shockwave of energy that transports Bayonetta back to the Witch Hunts, where she teams up with her mother Rosa to defeat the influx of angels. This is where she meets a younger version of Loptr, whom she realizes eventually becomes her mother’s murderer, not Loki. Both Bayonetta and Balder witness Rosa’s death at Loptr’s hands right before they are transported back to the present day, where they witness an older Loptr apprehending Loki.
Loptr explains that he and Loki are the two halves of Aesir’s soul, and that combined they will once again reign over the chaos of the human world, with the evil of Loptr’s soul poisoning the good of Loki’s. The two unite, leading into an awesome hack and slash boss battle with Bayonetta, Balder, and Jeanne all fighting the god of chaos Aesir. Towards the end, Bayonetta and Balder fuse to form a hybrid of Jubileus the Creator and Queen Sheba to once again separate Loki and Loptr, destroying both of The Eyes of the World in the process. The evil spirit of Loptr attempts to escape back to the spirit realm where he can heal and regenerate, but not before Balder intervenes and absorbs his soul.
He makes Bayonetta promise to stop him if he ever succumbs to the evil of Loptr before being returned to his own time, revealing that the plot of the first game was all due to  Loptr’s corrupt influence. Loki, having accomplished his mission, also begins to fade away, telling Bayonetta that they may meet again in the future when he is grown. The game cuts then to a few days later with Bayonetta and Jeanne doing some last-minute holiday shopping, trading sharp-witted remarks on sales, and the state of their designer dresses when more angels show up as the game ends.
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This leaves a fairly open-ended story for Bayonetta 3 developers to bounce off of, giving any number of directions for it to go. Several theories have been proposed based on Bayonetta 3’s in-trailer evidence, all of which are purely speculation at this point. The trailer appears to be set in Japan, but it is not unusual for Bayonetta to travel in the games, meaning that a small portion could be set in Shibuya or Tokyo. The enemies are also unlike anything the Bayonetta games have seen before, with them appearing neither angelic nor demonic in design.
Bayonetta’s new costume has also prompted questions, including the fact that her long-time voice actor Hellena Taylor will no longer be reprising her role. She is sporting a hairstyle similar to that of her younger, Cerezita self, complete with rounder glasses, lighter lipstick, and a new catsuit and skirt. Theories have pointed that her younger appearance and different voice actor may indicate that the third Bayonetta game could be a prequel in an alternate timeline, exploring what happened when Bayonetta and Balder interfered with Cereza’s upbringing. The trailer also features a mysterious, white-haired figure brandishing a sword at the end raising the question of whether an alternate version of Jeanne could also be in the works. There is also a small nod to another one of Platinum Game’s titles, Astral Chain, with a quick fake-out appearance of the game’s canine mascot Lappy.
However the game proceeds, fans can rest easy knowing that the charming Umbra witch shall make another return, despite the seemingly drastic changes to her character. The showcased gameplay at Nintendo Direct seems relatively similar to Bayonetta’s classic mechanics, keeping with her Wicked Weave and ability to summon demons to fight on her behalf. The previous two Bayonetta games have established a lengthy and rich abundance of lore for another game to pull from, giving any number of directions for Bayonetta 3’s plot to go in.
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Marley Snow King is a writer, actor, artist, and professional nerd from New York City. When they aren’t donning their wizard hat and slaying a dragon, they are writing gaming features (and that comes with the oh-so-tedious research process of playing a copious amount of video games). They have been freelancing for a little over four years, and have worked in entertainment for nearly a decade.


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